Ilonka began her professional singing career at age 12 when she won a national singing competition in her native South-Africa. That accomplishment resulted in her first record label deal and launched her into six consecutive years of performances and casino tours.
With a thousand shows under her belt, a young nineteen-year old Ilonka then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue the next chapter of her music story. Her most recent record project (tenth studio album), “To Be Loved”, is a Light Jazz/Adult Contemporary creation on Naxos’ Suite 28 Records that showcases her intimate, yet powerful mezzo-soprano voice, in the same sisterhood as Sarah McLachlan and Celine Dion.
Her tumultuous journey through a childhood music career compelled her to write a tell-all book, “Keeping Secrets”. The book (2016) chronicles the dramatic and abusive life of a young girl surviving the South-African music industry and has propelled her to become a fierce advocate for women facing abuse.
She has shared her story on the Steve Harvey Show and multiple TV networks. She founded a free women’s counseling clinic in Franklin, Tennessee to help women in crisis. She continues to sing and speak, and directs her passions to encourage audiences with her uplifting message.
When she’s not on the road Ilonka lives in Franklin, Tennessee, enjoying the “bliss of life” with her husband Bill, daughter Iália, her Yorkie, a good book and wading in a fly fishing stream.
As a women of passionate faith, her music and book truly reveals a personal journey from “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” to having an “Extraordinary Life”.